In all honesty, the modern dating culture is weird. With millions of young singles using dating apps to sift through potential matches, the rise of a hatred for labeling anything, and a young generation with a fear of commitment comes a new norm when it comes to dating: casual, I’m-not-ready-for-anything-serious relationships.
Long gone are the days of months-long courting, or the majority of people dating to marry, hoping to settle down with their soulmate. Instead, the current dating scene involves getting emotionally and physically serious quickly while refraining from calling the relationship much more than something casual.
This has led countless young women, who’d rather seek out a committed romantic relationship, to settle for whatever the guy they’re seeing is willing to offer. We’re nervous to ask for more than just late night texts, once-a-week hangouts, and lukewarm levels of interest and commitment. The echo chamber of our modern dating culture asserts that we’re clingy or asking for too much when we’d prefer a guy to delete his dating apps and commit to seeing us only. But should we feel bad about asking for exclusivity?
There’s Nothing Wrong with Being Honest about What We Want
We tend to shy away from asking for exclusivity early on in a relationship in an attempt to seem easygoing and accepting of different ideas within a romantic relationship. After all, we’re encouraged to refrain from shaming or judging anyone’s desires within romantic relationships, called to approve of a casual, non-committal approach to romance and sexuality.
With that in mind, we should extend and expect the same acceptance to asking for exclusivity. If we’re asked to affirm someone being upfront with their intentions to engage in hookups or unlabeled relationships, it only makes sense that those of us who wish for exclusivity expect to be met with respect and understanding of our ideals and boundaries in romance.
It’s Important That We Want the Same Thing As Our Partner
Relationships can only work when our vision for life, expectations of one another, and deepest longings coincide with our significant other’s. A couple in which one person wants children and the other wants nothing to do with them will never work. A relationship where one person wants to live a normal life in a small town and another wants to live in a big, bustling city won’t work out.
The same goes for whether or not the guy we’re seeing values exclusivity, even in the very beginning of a budding relationship. If he makes it clear that being in a serious relationship isn’t at the top of his to-do list, it’s best not to wait around for it to become more important to him. It’ll be more important to the right guy.
We’re Worth Forsaking All Others
It’s a common theme in the current dating climate to see having the “What are we?” talk as awkward, fun-sucking, and something to avoid at all costs. After hanging out with a guy so many times and feeling like we have a deep connection, it’s nerve-wracking to initiate a conversation that we’ve been told will scare him off, or come off as controlling and selfish for asking him to limit his options.
But honestly, we’re worth exclusivity. We’re worth a completely committed, serious, loving relationship in which he’s happy to delete his dating apps, get rid of old phone numbers, and promise us his loyalty and undivided affection. Asking for this is simply asking to be treated with decency and respect, things that someone who likes and values us should have no problem giving to us.
Once we see ourselves as women who deserve far more than “u up?” texts and last-minute Netflix and chill plans, it’s easier to see that asking for exclusivity isn’t something to feel guilty about, but instead something we’re worth.